The Hastings Blossom Parade has long been an iconic event in Hastings. The event helps usher in spring and gives residents and visitors a reason to feel good about themselves.
This year the parade has been timed to coincide with the 2011 Rugby World Cup and will be travel through the streets of Hastings the day before France meets Canada at McLean Park in Napier.
There will be a full day’s entertainment as Hastings CBD takes on the look of spring with food stalls and a craft fair adding to the excitement of the Blossom Parade.
Festival Director Angela Kilkolly says” an international food court is to be set up in the car park near the Westpac Bank and will feature a variety of ethnic cuisine. From Thai to Indian and Japanese, there will be tastes to suit everyone’s pallet.”
“A large entertainment area for children will be located near the food court with a bouncy castle and a number of games which will test kids skills.”
The performance platform, adjacent to the food court will be the focus from early Saturday morning. The Southern Stars Steel band bring their Caribbean sounds to the stage at around 10.30, before a demonstration of martial arts and then the samba rhythms of percussion band, Wellington Batucada.
Too Much Cuzz from Wairoa is next up, with their reggae style before the parade begins at 1.30pm.
Already confirmed for the parade are a Brazilian band, bellydancers and marching teams while a number of local schools have begun constructing floats. Over 20 floats will take to the parade route with other entrants taking the number of individual elements in the parade to more than 50. Many of the floats will reflect the Rugby World Cup theme and a special welcome is planned for the French and the Canadian rugby teams.
The Hastings Blossom Parade begins at 1.30pm on Saturday September 17th from Warren Street and travels around the centre of Hastings. The parade prizegiving will be held on the performance platform from 3pm.
Organisers are still seeking volunteers to help on the day and people to wear the many mascot costumes which are such a great part of parade. Anyone who would like to offer their services should get in contact with Lyn Mackie on (06) 8789447.
Parade entries are still being accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org and more information is available on www.blossomfestival.co.nz
The parade marks the start of nine days of food, wine and festivities in the Hastings Blossom Festival. Entertainment includes the Takitimu Festival, the second day of the Rush Munro Spring Racing Carnival and the New Zealand Olive Festival.